We’ve had to let go of our 12-year-old Dalmatian, the second of two Dals—Mingus and Dizzy (after Charles and Gillespie)—that we rescued 11 years back. Mingus we said adios to three years ago; Dizzy, younger (by how much we don’t know) and more rambunctious, moved on this morning. My wife has written a lovely tribute for Dizzy, which I’ll share here:
Hello all of my animal loving friends!
We are saddened to tell you that today we let our precious Dizzy go “on to the next.” We adopted both of our boys, Dizzy and Mingus, eleven years ago this month from the Rocky Spot Rescue (RSR) in Oklahoma. They were at a pound in Oklahoma City, being led down the hall to be euthanized when the wonderful people at Rocky Spot rescued them and found then matched them up with us. We weren’t quite ready to adopt a dog, let alone two, but when we saw their sweet faces on the internet, we looked at each other and said “how can we not take them both?” Both of them have given us so much joy and we will never forget them. When we adopted them, the staff at RSR estimated they were about 1 and 3. We think Mingus, who has been gone since June 9, 2011 was a little older than three and Dizzy was possibly a little younger than they thought. You just never know for sure when you adopt rescue dogs.
As many of you know, Dizzy has had epilepsy for several years and has started having seizures again, and the after-effects seem to get worse each time. He has been so disoriented and cries constantly and we feet like he has communicated with us in his own way that he was ready to go. He had a T-bone steak for breakfast before the vet came. It is a very sad day, but I want to focus on the great memories and so I’m requesting that you don’t send any cards as they are a reminder of such a sad time. If you are moved to do something, please send $5 or whatever you can afford to The Rocky Spot Rescue in honor of Dizzy & Mingus.
The Rocky Spot Rescue
P. O. Box 98
Newcasstle, OK 73065
Some of my fondest memories of Dizzy & Mingus:
- The first month we had them, Dizzy was having a a meltdown in the living room and we thought perhaps he was mad. I laid down and held him and talked to him until he calmed down. I think he was just confused and, frankly ticked off, because a week after we brought them home we were leaving for our annual trip to Mexico and had no choice except to board them. We had hoped to pick them up after our trip, but RSR was over capacity and had to get them a home.
- Dizzy has always been so eager to please us, and himself (those of you who knew Dizzy well, know what I mean about pleasuring himself…) 🙂
- Dizzy thought he was a lap dog for the first several years we had him and he would get up on the couch with me and cuddle while I watched T.V. Mingus was never interested in getting up on the couch, and in fact it took us a couple of months to convince Mingus to go up and down the stairs. We figured somewhere in his previous life he was terrified by someone pushing or kicking him down the stairs. He finally figured out that he was safe with us and took those stairs like a champ.
- Dizzy loved to have his tummy rubbed, but Mingus was very protective and did not like being on his back, probably a vulnerable place for him.
- Both of our boys loved their walks and up until I had my knees replaced in 2007 they got to go for or a 2.5 mile walk 3 to 4 times a week. During my recovery they had to be patient and just hang out until mom could take them again. Their dad would have gladly taken them but he was too busy trying to juggle things at home, keep work going, caring for me, etc. Once I was able to hike again, we were back in them thar hills and all of us loved it.
- In their youth and before there were so many people in our area with dogs off leashes, I used to take turns letting Dizzy and Mingus run off leash. Dizzy ran so gracefully, like a Greyhound. He would chase the deer, squirrels, and anything that moved but never could catch the clever animals up here. He really was a beautiful animal to watch run. Mingus loved his time off leash, too, but he had some hip problems, and couldn’t go very far without getting pretty tired.
- When we got Mingus and Dizzy, Dizzy was so attached to Mingus that many of us, including RSR thought that perhaps Mingus was his dad, but we’ll never know that. They loved each other and I am happy that they will be back together.
- The last thought I have to offer is that Joe used to say that if Dizzy was a child, he would send him to therapy for the Oedipus complex. He was absolutely infatuated with everything I did for many years. He would sit and watch me put on make-up, brush my hair, read a book, stand outside the bathroom waiting for me, or even watch T.V.
To those of you who have pets, give them a special hug and pet for us tonight and send positive thoughts to Dizzy as he goes on his journey to be back with his running buddy, Mingus.
As for me, supposedly the “writer” in the family, I’ve written about Dizzy only off and on in my notebook, but nothing has ever “come together” except this haiku:
the dog’s seizure past,
he wanders the house—more lost
being lost at home
I’ve often pondered the disdain heaped on beginning poets who write about their pets, as if these companions aren’t worthy of attention—although I suspect it’s the horror of sentiment that is one of Pound’s most enduring contributions to modern poetry. This horror is particularly advanced in the West; perhaps it’s what allows us to send robot bombs down on tribal populations in the name of freedom and Democracy, or to encourage Wall Street bankers to destroy the economy in order to move even more wealth to the top one percent. In any case, I’ve found that sentiment—as in W. S. Merwin’s dog poems in The Shadow of Sirius—can be profound and authentic.
As for Dizzy and Mingus, letting them go was heartbreaking, but better than seeing them suffer, each in his own way. Since most of you reading this blog have never met them, let me offer up a few photos in lieu of more blather.
|Mingus and Dizzy-with-Bandaged-Paw (he’d torn his dewclaw)|
|Dizzy’s Favorite Position: Sitting On Mingus’s Head|
|Melody Encouraging Dizzy’s Oedipus complex as Mingus Looks On|
|Dizzy in a Serious Mood|
|Dizzy in a Shaft of Sun|